Unless greenhouse gas emissions are sharply curbed, global warming will continue to fuel catastrophic events — it will also cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars, according to a congressionally mandated report.
As the Arctic warms, it’s opening up a whole new economic frontier, with big opportunities for tourism, shipping and resource development, including oil and gas. But that also brings a whole new array of risks for the region and the world.
Sea ice grows in the winter, when the Arctic is very cold and dark, and then dies back every summer, when the region gets pounded by nonstop sunlight. For all of human history, there's always been some Arctic sea ice that doesn’t melt in the summer. But there's much less of it now.
Shishmaref, Alaska, home to a tightly knit Iñpuiat community of 600 people, is ground zero for climate change in the Arctic. What happens here could foreshadow the fates of other US coastal communities. Why won't Washington pay attention?